April 30, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

  1. Obama to PH: Allies never stand alone

    Photo by Francis Malasig/EPA

    US President Barack Obama, on Tuesday, April 29, said that the Philippines had the ‘ironclad’ commitment of the US to help the country in the event of an external attack. Speaking to Filipino and American troops at Fort Bonifacio, Obama made a more definitive statement on the PH-US mutual defense treaty that binds either country to come to the aid of another in the event of an attack. On day one of his state visit, Obama evaded a journalist’s question of whether the US would help the Philippines, amidst a territorial dispute with China. But on day 2, he was more forthcoming, “Our commitment to defend the Philippines is ironclad and the United States will keep that commitment, because allies never stand alone,” said Obama. The US President spent his 2nd and last day in Manila highlighting the contributions of both Filipino and US troops in the country and the effort of Filipino veterans of WWII who fought alongside American soldiers but never got compensation from the US government. Under the Obama administration, the US Congress passed a law that granted benefits to surviving Filipino WWII veterans.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Binay leads presidential poll

    If elections were held today, Vice President Jejomar Binay would win the presidency, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey. The survey, which polled from March 19-26, 2014, showed Binay would get 40% of the vote, followed by Senator Grace Poe with 15% and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago with 10%. DILG secretary Mar Roxas, the possible standard bearer of the Liberal Party, got only 6% of the vote. Next to him were Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and Kris Aquino who each got 4%. The survey, a copy of which was obtained by Rappler, polled 1,200 people and carried an error margin of ±3% for respondents nationwide.

    Read the full results in Rappler.

  3. Drilon: Let Supreme Court decide on PH-US deal

    File photo by Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB

    Senate President Franklin Drilon urged both critics and proponents of the Philippines’ military deal with the United States to bring it before the Supreme Court (SC) to settle whether or not the agreement requires Senate approval. The senator added that it is best to let the high court issue a definitive ruling on the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). The text of the agreement was only made public on Tuesday, a day after it was signed. Senators are divided on whether the deal is an executive agreement or a treaty that needs to be ratified by the Senate, as mandated by the constitution.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. 3 new MERS death in Saudi Arabia

    AFP PHOTO / British Health Protection Agency

    Saudi health authorities announced Tuesday, April 29, 3 new deaths from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, as a group of experts met to discuss means of preventing the spread of the disease. Three men – aged 56, 61, and 79 – died of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in Riyadh, bringing to 105 the total deaths since the disease appeared in the kingdom in September 2012, the health ministry said. The total number of diagnosed cases rose to 345 on the same day, with 6 new infections reported. Public concern over the spread of MERS mounted earlier this month after the resignation of at least 4 doctors at Jeddah’s King Fahd Hospital who refused to treat patients for fear of infection. There are currently no vaccines for the virus but US scientists say they have made progress towards developing a treatment.

    Read the full story on Rappler:

  5. PH Poverty incidence on downward trend

    Malacañang photo bureau

    The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said on Tuesday, April 29 that sustained high economic growth and investments in social development programs have reduced poverty incidence in the first half of 2014. NEDA Director General Arsenio Balisacan said that the lower poverty incidence is proof that the government’s inclusive growth strategy is working. Balisacan made the statement after the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report that 24.9% of Filipinos, based on their average income, were considered poor in the first semester of 2013, down from 27.9% in the same period in 2012. This is the first time poverty statistics were generated from an annual survey. In previous years, the poverty survey was conducted every 3 years.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. US delists PH in intellectual property watch list

    Image from iipa.com

    The US government has removed the Philippines from a watch list of US trade partners with problems protecting intellectual property rights. The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced on Tuesday, April 29, that the Philippines would be delisted from the Special 301 Watch List. In removing the Philippines from the watch list, the USTR cited the enactment of “a series of significant legislative and regulatory reforms to enhance” IPR protection and enforcement in the country. Civil and administrative enforcement in this regard has also improved, it said. The Philippines has appeared on the Watch List or Priority Watch List continuously since 1994, and was first listed in 1989.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. NBA bans Clippers owner for life over racism

    Photo by Justin Lane/EPA

    The NBA on Tuesday banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from professional basketball for life over racist comments that the league’s commissioner dubbed “deeply offensive and harmful.” Sterling, an 80-year-old real estate tycoon who bought the Clippers in 1981, was fined $2.5 million – the maximum amount under the constitution of the National Basketball Association – and barred from all games, team facilities and NBA board meetings. Sterling reportedly told his girlfriend not to broadcast to the public that she was associating with black people. “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” says Sterling in a recording obtained by TMZ. Silver said he would urge the NBA board of governors to “exercise its authority to force a sale of the team” and would personally push for such a move.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Cast revealed for new Star Wars movie

    Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

    A new hope. This is what fans of the Star Wars franchise got on Wednesday, April 30 with the announcement of the cast of Star Wars VII. The movie will feature the return of original cast members Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), and Kenny Baker (R2-D2). New cast members include actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. The movie is being directed by J.J. Abrams and will start filming soon. But fans will have to wait. The movie isn’t set to open until December 18, 2015.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Tornado kills 35 in the US

    Chris Todd/EPA

    At least 35 people were killed in tornadoes that ravaged neighborhoods across 6 states, US media said Tuesday, April 29, but Mother Nature was not done yet and was threatening to unleash hail the size of baseballs. In hard-hit Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, at least 17 people were killed Monday, CNN television said. Another 18 were reported dead in Arkansas, Iowa and Oklahoma on Sunday. The National Weather Service said that “severe thunderstorms” were expected in eastern and southern Mississippi, western Alabama and extreme eastern Louisiana. At 166-200 miles (265-320 kilometers) per hour, that would make the storm one of the strongest to strike the United States this year.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Canada fishing town fears exploding whale

    A tiny fishing community in Canada’s island province of Newfoundland faced an unusual threat Tuesday, April 29: a giant blue whale that washed up onto its shores may explode. The massive mammal is one of 9 endangered blue whales that is believed to have died in heavy ice off Canada’s Atlantic coast several weeks ago. “It’s sitting on our beach and filling up with (methane) gases, and there is a concern that it can explode,” town manager Emily Butler told AFP. Butler said the town of about 600 people does not have the resources to safely deal with the carcass itself.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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